Thieves, armed with a vacuum cleaner, still on the run

Thieves in Paris have been stealing money with the clever use of a vacuum. Not just bits of change here and there, they’ve stolen over 500,000 euros. They noticed that Monoprix supermarkets use a pneumatic tube system to transport rolls of cash to and from the safe. Realizing this was the weakest point in the security, they simply drilled a big hole in the tube, hooked up a vacuum and sucked the cash out. Forget lock picking or safe cracking, this had to be ridiculously easy.

The thieves are still out there, sucking their way to riches. At this point, they’ve hit 15 locations. Their luck has to run out some time right?

[via Slashdot]

Comments

  1. FoxxCommand says:

    Brilliant

  2. xeracy says:

    who said crime doesn’t pay?

  3. UltraMagnus says:

    These guys really suck

  4. Tuttomenui says:

    Hahaha, That reminds me of the guy that took one of those septic tank vacuums cleaned it up, put padding on the inside and he uses it to suck ground squirrels right out of their holes.

    I bet you could empty the entire Vault with a vacuum like that =) .

  5. James says:

    Physical access is root access :)

  6. Decius says:

    500,000 euros.

    I don’t think they should hit up any more places after that considering more people have caught on by now. (not to mention the free 500,000 Euros)

    Wonder if they used a dyson? ;o

  7. Freax says:

    Well, it is not like they did not break locks and tricked/destroyed alarm systems to do this, so it was not that “easy” I figure…

  8. Runko says:

    Been there, done that:

  9. James says:

    You’ve no idea how they did it, where the pneumatic tubing goes – the whole point might be the company missed a serious security flaw like the pipework going outdoors for a stretch. Otherwise I’d expect it to be pretty obvious that they were climbnig about with a vacuum.

  10. Frollard says:

    It doesn’t make much sense — the only transport systems I’ve seen like this indeed use negative pressure to get the vessels from one side of the building to another, but when they land in the safe, they exit the tube system after passing a venturi-like bypass…re-sucking wouldn’t return the tubes to the pipe. something fishy is being reported.

  11. LifeSizeActionFigure says:

    I wonder if they’ve ever accidentally tapped into a sewer line. Now THAT would suck!

  12. Ho0d0o/Heatgap says:

    Absolutely brilliant. These guys are simply hardware hackers with large testicular fortitude.

    If your hating on these guys it’s probably subconscious jealousy.

  13. Charper says:

    Interesting, but the only hack here is social.

    The Sun is a british tabloid newspaper (like National Enquirer here in the states). The only original reference to this story comes from this paper.

    Cool, but I bet fake.

  14. Charper says:

    Edit:

    Maybe ‘fake’ is a strong word. I’m sure a more reliable source will eventually come out showing that it has a grain of truth, but has been exaggerated and sensationalized.

  15. Nunya says:

    Uhmm can anyone say cheap check valve?

  16. cynox says:

    I ve seen this today in the newspaper, it wasnt well explained, but now I realise that it is awesome xD

  17. Pilotgeek says:

    @Frollard : I believe they are intercepting the money as it’s going through the tube, not “sucking it back out”.

  18. Kyle says:

    Agree with Charper. Until someone other than the Sun picks this up I would be skeptical to believe it.

  19. Hirudinea says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the French suck!

    @ Ho0d0o/Heatgap

    Yes I am jealous, all I get with my vaccum is dust!

  20. uky says:

    they probably broke in at night, used the valve where the tube connects to the safe, drilled through it because its definitely the weakest point, and then put a vacuum into the safe to grab the money.

  21. Tripe B says:

    I suspect that there has been some deliberate misreporting in the media around this to make it harder for copy cat criminals.

  22. ejonesss says:

    a simple spring loaded check valve like flap placed over the pipe in the safe should prevent that.

    the bank’s vacuum is probably in the safe so it would suck open the flap to let the money in but someone applying vacuum from the teller window will suck the valve shut and not get the money.

    if they are lucky they may get the money holder tank if the bank is big enough to have multiple teller windows or the tubes are stored inside

  23. cde says:

    @Frollard The system is two-way. It allows sending and receiving coins from the storage.

  24. mrcat says:

    i was just talking to a friend about this a couple of days ago, they use a similar system in a supermarket chain here in new zealand.

  25. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    Who would employ a system with such obvious security flaws? kindergarten students?

    seriously, this is 80% as bad as the cash-card-with-value-only-on-the-card from wal-mart.

  26. freakch says:

    @Charper definitely not a fake, this news was well covered by French newspapers. It seems that the gang started their malpratices since 2006 …

    brilliant hack ! At last a good reason to be proud of being french… not a lux in this time :)

  27. Necromant says:

    Well, That’s Stainless Steal Rat style, if you’ve read the book.

  28. SIKDIDIT says:

    Store Manager reportedly told Police….
    “This Really Sucks”.

  29. mangler says:

    Please do not turn this site into some anti-crime retarded site. I read enough shit page where every 5th phrase contains *crime*.
    If you want to post article like this (because of the “hack”) then at least add pictures to it. I never know stores use vacuum tubes to transfer cash lol, must be some great french idea…

    The money they suck out is insured by multibillion dollar store chains for sure. The employers wont have losses because of this.

    Im so sick that just because some people able to get some easy money the media creates a hatespeach against them. The real criminals are in polititian, ceo, manager positions stealing hundreds of millions of dollars and don’t get caught, bravo!

  30. Paul says:
  31. Jas says:

    Harry Harrison predicted this in the book “A Stainless Steel Rat is Born”, back in 1985.

  32. Olivier says:

    @mangler: stop being stupid, those vacuum pipes have been used for years in supermarkets everywhere in the world, so the the cashiers don’t have tons of money with them.

    But, of course, something is missing in the story, because there’s no way the money can be stolen magically, just with a vacuum cleaner.

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